Although last year was marked by severe economic downturns in many households, the new year brought new levies to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), instead of a recovery opportunity. As time passes, everything is more expensive, from fuel to bread.
The latest information that has worried the public is the increase in the price of fuel at gas stations throughout the Federation of BiH (FBiH). According to the change in price and margin, a liter of diesel in FBiH from February 10th costs from 1.66 to 2.06 BAM, and a liter of gasoline from 1.76 to 2.06 BAM. Compared to previous fuel prices, this represents a price increase of 0.05 BAM per liter, KLix.ba writes.
The announcement of the increase in the price of electricity in the entity of Republika Srpska (RS) caused great anger of the public. As reported by the ”Elektroprivreda RS” (ERS), the electricity price will increase for households due to the increased costs of the largest electricity producer – RiTE Ugljevik.
It is still unknown for RS citizens what the new electricity prices will be, but it has been announced that the price increase should follow from April. Some RS officials have also condemned the rise in electricity prices, noting that raising taxes during a pandemic, when people lose their jobs every day, is a sign of pure arrogance and a crime against their people.
Besides the price increase of fuel and electricity, the citizens of BiH could be affected by the multiple increases in the price of meat and meat products due to problems with possible market surpluses in primary domestic production and livestock breeding. Namely, the measures are planned to be introduced by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH include the so-called “forced” purchase of surplus livestock from domestic producers and breeders. However, meat processors warn that these measures will disrupt the process and lead to an increase in the price of meat and meat products.
What is most difficult for the citizens is the rise in the price of basic foodstuffs, which is again noticeable in the reports of the Agency for Statistics of BiH.
According to the agency data, the cost of a kilo of white flour was 1 BAM at the beginning of the year, and now this price has been increased to 1.1 BAM. Until a few months ago, a liter of oil cost was 2 BAM, while now it costs 2.3 BAM. In January 2020, citizens paid 3.1 BAM per kilogram of rice, and the new price is now 3.2 BAM.
The new year could not come without a new increase in the price of cigarettes, which have been 20 pfennigs more expensive since January 2021.
While citizens are worried about the new taxes, the relationship between the union’s consumer basket and the average salary in BiH also looks worrying. In January, the consumer basket amounted to 2.044 BAM, while the average paid salary was 966 BAM. In this regard, a family with two people who earn an average salary cannot bear the costs of the consumer basket.
However, the difficult economic status remains the concern of the citizens only. At the same time, the authorities are considering increasing the salary base for employees in state institutions, justifying it with the fact that their base was reduced twice in 2012 and that it is time to return it. Indeed, it seems that the pandemic is the right time to increase the levies and salaries of the officials.
According to the latest data from the Agency for Statistics, at the end of 2020, BiH had 413.254 unemployed persons, which is almost 13 percent more than in the year before.